Ināra Mūrniece: Latvia and China need to turn successful political dialogue into economic prosperity

(20.04.2017.)
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Latvia and China enjoy a very good political dialogue, and we are ready to further our cooperation in trade, investment and transport. Speaker Ināra Mūrniece stressed this on Wednesday, 12 April, at the Saeima, during a meeting with Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the National People's Congress, who, accompanied by a delegation, was on an official visit to Latvia. The previous visit of this level took place 17 years ago.

The Latvia–China relations are also marked by good parliamentary cooperation, stressed Mūrniece, noting that one third of MPs belong to the Saeima Group for Interparliamentary Relations with China. Active political dialogue and parliamentary contacts form the basis of our bilateral economic cooperation.

The Speaker pointed out that China is the main Latvian economic cooperation partner in East Asia and now is a great moment to boost the economic cooperation of the two countries. Our food manufacturers entering the Chinese market is a good start for tapping into the economic potential of both countries, said Mūrniece, stressing that Latvian exports to China increased last year. The number of Chinese tourists visiting Latvia has risen six times since 2010. The Speaker expressed hope for the launch of charter flights between Latvia and China next year. This would be an important impetus to the promotion of economic cooperation and tourism.

Zhang Dejiang emphasised the successful relations between the two countries and expressed the wish for closer cooperation in the spheres of investment, transport and infrastructure, as well as science and other sectors. He assured that China is also interested in our agricultural and pharmaceutical production.

The Speaker of the Saeima stressed our country's readiness to participate in China's Belt and Road Initiative, expressing the hope that the Latvian transport corridor would become part of it. We see Latvia as an international hub and a leading transport and logistics centre in Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea region, emphasised Mūrniece.

The Central and Eastern European countries and China cooperation format, 16+1, is a good platform for cooperation, supplementing the Latvia–China and the EU–China dialogue. Our national priorities in this format are transport and attracting investments for infrastructure projects, as well as trade and student exchange, said Speaker Mūrniece.

Ināra Mūrniece and Zhang Dejiang signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China and the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia, thus committing to strengthening the cooperation between the parliaments of both countries. In the Memorandum, the Latvian and Chinese parliaments undertake to promote the exchange of high-level visits and encourage cooperation between the legislatures of both countries, including line committees and friendship groups.

The Chairman of the Chinese parliament appreciated the existing active cooperation and invited Speaker Mūrniece to come to China on an official visit.

 

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Saeima Press Service

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